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Mary Farmilant

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digital, photography, landscape, realism, video-art, abstract, docugraphic, color, diptych


I have been working on the CLOSED project for almost ten years.  The work has evolved from a personal statement about the closing of a former place of employment to a broader visual story about how trends in politics, economic and social resources, and the disproportionate distribution of wealth between the classes will change the face of the world forever.  In the same way landscapes made at the beginning of photography recall to us a world now long past, the images in this project will be a record for generations born after the oral history tellers have died off.

My images create a visual historical record of institutions that are fading from existence as a result of current economic and social factors.  This project is divided into several subchapters (Hospital, the Entropy Project and Highest and Best Use) devoted to different types of public spaces directly impacted by socioeconomic trends.  These tend to be the places that bind the fabric of society together: hospitals, schools, government buildings, and places of worship.  

The decision made by the hospital administrators to close the hospitals was a reaction to the collapse of the global economy and the increasing difference between the upper and lower classes. The lands upon which these hospitals stand are more valuable than providing health care.

My work in general is motivated by a wish to preserve a visual record of the fact of these hidden secrets for future generations in the hopes that our children, the administrators of the future, will be inclined to make decisions that are honest from the core to the surface.The images are made before the institutions are demolished, after the space has been retooled for current and future use, or at some point between these extremes. By examining these issues, we can create a usable past as a way of understanding of how we got to where we are today and learn useful lessons for our own times.



Recent Exhibits

Mary Farmilant participated in these exhibits:

Mar, 2014 OFF-CENTER
Chicago Art Department
Aug, 2013 Front & Center
Hyde Park Art Center
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